Mar 7 2013 by Jamie Bowman, Ormskirk Advertiser
OFFICIALS from the Ormskirk and District Sunday Football League will hold an emergency meeting this week in response to a fracas in Kirkby at the weekend.
Club officials and police have raised fears after a spectator was run over by a car during the violence which hit Sunday’s fixtures.
Police remain unsure of the reasons behind the row, which flared during matches involving a number of teams on pitches at Simonswood Playing Fields.
Shortly before the chaotic scenes which saw spectators armed with hammers and screwdrivers attacking each other, a match between Coleman’s and Sacred Heart FC had been abandoned.
The referee called off the clash due to the conduct of a Coleman’s player, but the club insisted the fans’ behaviour was a separate issue and not connected to the match action.
Coleman’s club secretary Bob Williams said relations between the two Kirkby-based sides were friendly.
He said: “Our player was sent off after 30 minutes of our match and we accepted the referee’s decision to abandon the game.
“It had not been a bad-tempered game and there had not even been a booking before then.
“Neither Coleman’s nor Sacred Heart were connected to what went on the other side of the pitches, about 200 yards from where our match was taking place.
“Some of our players got caught up in things as they walked back across. One was left with a dislocated elbow and the other had a broken wrist.
“I saw the incident with the car and was disgusted. I have never seen anything like this in 40 years involved with the game.
“The worry is that people see this as something associated with the game when it is not something we recognise as part of Sunday football.”
Ormskirk and District Sunday League chairman Eddie Pope, who is also a Conservative councillor for Newburgh, was refereeing a match on a nearby pitch.
He said: “Trouble seemed to spill over as the players were walking off and there were various exchanges between players and spectators before a car drove on to the side of the pitch.
“I abandoned the match I was refereeing between Kirkby RAFA and Eden Vale because I could see there was potentially a problem and I feared for the safety of the players and spectators.
“It’s very sad for amateur football when anything like this happens and we will wait to read the referee’s report before the matter is referred to Liverpool County FA who I am sure will take action.”
Chief Inspector Kevin Wellens for Knowsley said: "Incidents such as this, although rare, cannot be tolerated.
“The events were clearly upsetting to the majority of law abiding individuals enjoying their football on a Sunday morning.
“Football is a great game which all sections of the community should be able to enjoy without being subjected to incidents like this.”